Saturday, November 18, 2017

Tiger wins Players as Garcia collapses


PONTE VEDRA BEACH — A weekend filled with sharp words between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia came down to one last showdown Sunday in the Players Championship, this one staged across the water in a tiny, intimidating section of TPC Sawgrass.

With the two tied for the lead with two holes to play, Woods kept his shots on land and made two pars. Garcia hit three balls into the water for a quadruple bogey-double bogey finish.

If there was special satisfaction in beating Garcia again — especially hours after Garcia had called Woods "not the nicest guy on tour'' in their latest volleying of unniceties — Woods kept that to himself. What mattered was having a chance to win, closing it out like he does so often, and capturing the richest prize on the PGA Tour for the first time in a dozen years.

"We just go out there and play," Woods said. "I had an opportunity to win the golf tournament when I was tied for the lead (Sunday), and I thought I handled the situation well and really played well (Sunday) when I really needed to. And that's something I'm excited about it."

Woods won the Players for the first time since 2001 and became the fifth multiple winner at Sawgrass since the event moved to the former swamp in 1982.

He allowed the final hour to turn into a tense duel by hooking his tee shot into the water on 14 for double bogey. But his short game bailed him out to save par on 15 and make a critical birdie on 16, and he was solid on the final two holes for 2-under 70.

Woods finished at 13-under 275 for a two-shot win over Kevin Streelman (67), Jeff Maggert (70) and rookie David Lingmerth (72).

Garcia had tied Woods at 13 under with a birdie on the par-5 16th. Standing on the 17th tee, he stared across to the island green to watch Woods make his par. It was all downhill for Garcia from there.

His six dropped shots over the last two holes left him at 4-over 76 for the day and 7 under for the tournament.

"It's always nice to have a chance at beating the No. 1 player in the world, but unfortunately for me, I wasn't able to this week," Garcia said.

Woods was in the scoring trailer when he watched on TV as Lingmerth missed a long birdie putt on 18 that would have forced a playoff. It raced by the cup, and Lingmerth three-putted for bogey. "How about that?" Woods said to his caddie, Joe LaCava, as he hugged him.

Given their public sniping at each other over the weekend, it was only fitting that Garcia had the best chance to beat Woods.

Their dispute started Saturday when Garcia, playing with Woods, complained in a TV interview that his shot from the par-5 second fairway was disrupted by cheers from the crowd around Woods, who was about 50 yards away in the trees and fired them up by taking a fairway metal out of his bag. He said Woods should have been paying attention, and it became a war of words the next two days.

"Not real surprising that he's complaining about something," Woods said.

"At least I'm true to myself," Garcia retorted.

After rain delayed the third round, Garcia and Woods were among eight players who had to finish Sunday morning. After completing the round in a three-way tie for the lead with Woods and Lingmerth at 11-under 205, Garcia said of Woods, "I'm not going to lie. He's not my favorite guy to play with. He's not the nicest guy on tour.''

Woods had the last word. He had the trophy.

Sergio's collapse

Garcia approached No. 17 tied with Tiger Woods for the lead at 13 under. Two holes and 13 shots later, he was six strokes back.

Par-3 17: First shot lands in water. Decides to play third shot from tee; shot hits bank short of island green, bounces into water. Result: quadruple bogey.

Par-4 18: Tee shot goes into lake left of fairway. Result: double bogey.

. Fast facts

Tiger trivia

. The Players Championship win is Tiger Woods' fourth of the year. The only other time he has had four wins before June 1, in 2000, he won the next four majors.

. This is the fastest Woods has won four tournaments in a year, winning in six starts. His previous fastest was in 10 starts by May 28, 2000.

. This is Woods' seventh PGA Tour win in the past two seasons. Nobody else has more than four (Rory McIlroy).

. Woods, 37, won for the 78th time, pulling within four wins of Sam Snead's tour-record 82. Snead won his 78th at age 46.

Source: ESPN, CBS


Rookie Sung Hyun Park continues to roll at LPGA’s Tour Championship

NAPLES — Golf felt so easy to Sung Hyun Park that only when she took out her card to catch up on her scores did she realize she had closed out the front nine with five straight birdies Friday at the Tour Championship. Park kept right on attacking. Th...
Published: 11/17/17
Kevin Sutherland wins Charles Schwab Cup Championship, takes Champions season title

Kevin Sutherland wins Charles Schwab Cup Championship, takes Champions season title

PHOENIX — Kevin Sutherland finally broke through on the Champions Tour, taking the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship — and topping the yearlong competition, too. Sutherland closed with 5-under 66 Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Vijay...
Published: 11/12/17

Paul Goydos leads at Champions Tour’s season finale

PHOENIX — Defending champion Paul Goydos took a one-stroke lead Saturday in the Champions Tour’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Goydos, a first-round co-leader, shot 5-under 66 to reach 12-under 130 at Phoenix Country Club. "This golf...
Published: 11/11/17

Trio share first-round lead at Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup

PHOENIX — Defending champion Paul Goydos and major winners Vijay Singh and Lee Janzen shot 7-under 64 Friday to share the first-round lead in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Bernhard Langer, trying to sweep the Champions Tour’s three playoff eve...
Published: 11/10/17

Patrick Cantlay wins Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in playoff

LAS VEGAS — Patrick Cantlay won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday in a playoff for the first victory in a PGA Tour career mostly derailed by a severe back injury. The former UCLA star, 25, hit from behind a tree and got up-and-down f...
Published: 11/05/17
J.J. Spaun, Beau Hossler tied for lead at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

J.J. Spaun, Beau Hossler tied for lead at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

LAS VEGAS — Beau Hossler and J.J. Spaun shared the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open lead Saturday after another breezy day at TPC Summerlin. Hossler birdied the par-4 15th and 18th holes for his bogey-free 5-under 66, the best round of the day in...
Published: 11/04/17

J.J. Spaun takes second-round lead at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

LAS VEGAS — J.J. Spaun shot 6-under 65 on Friday at breezy TPC Summerlin to take the lead in the suspended second round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Spaun rebounded from bogey on the par-4 third with birdies on the par-4 fourth and pa...
Published: 11/03/17

Kim Meen-Whee leads Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

LAS VEGAS — Kim Meen-Whee birdied two of his final three holes for 6-under 65 and a one-stroke clubhouse lead Friday in the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The 25-year-old South Korean birdied all three par-5 holes at TPC Summerlin, ...
Updated one month ago
Justin Rose overcomes eight-shot deficit to win HSBC Champions

Justin Rose overcomes eight-shot deficit to win HSBC Champions

SHANGHAI — Justin Rose posed with the trophy from the balcony high above the 18th green at Sheshan International, a moment that didn’t seem possible. He started the final round eight shots behind Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world. "The be...
Updated one month ago

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … oh, just DJ again

SHANGHAI — As part of a promotional stunt for the HSBC Champions this week, Dustin Johnson was among three players wearing superhero capes on a hotel roof, suspended by ropes a few feet in the air against a backdrop of downtown Shanghai."I should hav...
Updated one month ago